In the first issue since 2008, XY Magazine reboots serving muscled-up twinks, editorials and photo spreads
XY magazine, targeted at a young gay audience from 17-24 years old, was founded in 1996 and churned out four issues a year. After an eight-year hiatus they’re back with issue #50, which can be ordered from their website. The content, published by its original staff, ranges from politics to culture to photo editorials of twinky guys and reader submissions.
XY Magazine Filled a Special Niche for Young Gays
Back in the late 90s, before the days that everyone had Grindr, Scruff, or maybe any internet connection at all, XY was on the shelf at local bookstores showing young gays—especially outside of cities—that they were not alone. XY was a kind of gay Seventeen, which catered to young gays where the high-brow Out and Advocate and smuttier Unzipped fell short.
Racy photo spreads for young gays (and their admirers!) jumped out of each issue of the glossy rag and kept us coming back for more. Reader-submitted content featuring stories and poetry by coming of age gays resonated with the budding audience.
A 17-year-old Colton Hayes Made Out With a Boy in an XY Editorial
Holy jail bait, Batman! Before Teen Wolf and Arrow and at only 17 years of age, Kansas native, Colton Hayes was already showing off his twinky bod for the camera. Below he’s on the March 2006 cover of XY magazine.
Joe Boy Comics Were a Fun XY Treat
XY Art Director Eriq Chang found gay comics illustrator Joe Phillips after Phillips drew a gayed up version of Super Boy and dropped hints about his sexuality. Phillips joined XY and would pump out gay-themed comics called “Joe Boy,” which featured gay sexualized characters in different scenarios. The talented illustrator has also drawn interiors and covers for DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, Image, Wild Storm, Now, and many others. Sadly, “Joe Boys” didn’t make a return for Issue #50.
XY Magazine Controversy
Of course no gay rag is complete without controversies and XY is no different. In 2007, six years after XY’s longtime Managing Editor, Michael Glatze left the mag, announced that he no longer identified as gay and denounced homosexuality. Today he’s a conservative Christian who opposes gay rights and married a woman in 2013! Back in 2005, Glatze was quoted by Time magazine stating “I don’t think the gay movement understands the extent to which the next generation just wants to be normal kids. The people who are getting that are the Christian right.”
James Franco portrayed Glatze in the 2015 Film I Am Michael.
Transitioning to the Digital Era
As younger gays we loved XY magazine’s racy editorials and articles that appealed to our audience and showed us we weren’t alone. Accurate portrayals of young gay culture are still missing in a world full of cartoon versions of gays. We hope XY continues to carry the torch and cater to the 17-24 set in a world where this voice is relatively absent.